August 26, 2011

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Note: where possible we provide the DOI to link to research papers in the Info Round up.  To use it, cut and paste the DOI into the text box on this webpage: Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights. 

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 41, Iss 3, Sept 2011, Pages 241-250
This study estimates differences between Germany and the U.S. over time in population levels of daily walking and cycling at different health-enhancing thresholds across sociodemographic groups.

BMJ 2011; 343:d4521
doi: 10.1136/bmj.d4521
The objective of this large study (n= 181, 982) was to compare the risks and benefits attributed to those who travel by bicycle, using a share bicycle initiative, to those who travel by car in the city of Barcelona, Spain in 2009. The introduction of this initiative saw a 30% increase in the number of residents cycling with 11% of the population in Barcelona subscribing to the scheme.
If you choose to walk for some journeys in London, you'll discover there are loads of benefits.

This website focuses on the importance of physical literacy and the need to create fun ways for children to learn fundamental movement skills. The website is designed to provide information and tools for parents.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 41, Iss 3, Sept 2011, Pages 258-265
Availability of parks is associated with higher levels of physical activity among children and adolescents. Few studies examine actual park use and park-based physical activity in these populations.

Findings from the Canadian Health Measures Survey reveal that among Canadian children and youth, only 4% of girls (vs. 9% of boys) achieve the recommended levels of daily moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity.

This information booklet is designed to give early years practitioners and health professionals help with using these guidelines effectively and to provide practical tips.

This information booklet is designed to give early years practitioners and health professionals help with using these guidelines effectively and to provide practical tips.

Empirical examinations of the efficacy of community-based programs to increase and sustain physical activity among youth are lacking. This study describes changes in vigorous physical activity during a 3-year period among children aged 9 to 13 years (tweens) in Lexington, Kentucky, following introduction of the VERB Summer Scorecard (VSS) intervention.

This manual has been designed to be used as a tool to implement an unstructured free play program in your community. In this manual you will find an introduction to unstructured free play, steps to establish an unstructured free play program in your community, and a wide variety of games and activities.

The enhancements to the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth and the new resources make it easier to select the healthy choice using the Choose Most Often, Choose Sometimes or Choose Least Often categories for food or beverages.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation encourages Canadians to follow a healthy diet, to eat fresh and cook at home whenever they can, to follow the recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide, and to make healthy choices wherever they are. But this can be easier said than done……..

Physical activity questionnaire developed with a grant from the U. S. National Institute on Aging. Designed to assess current level of activity (occupational, household and leisure) of community-dwelling older persons, aged 65 and older, through self report of a one week period.

Neurobiology of Aging Article in Press, Corrected Proof
This study examines the association between sodium intake and its interaction with physical activity on cognitive function over 3 years in older adults residing in Qu├ębec, Canada.

There are a number of articles in this issue on the topic of obesity and children.
“The articles presented in this collection address a selection of the most important and understudied aspects of childhood obesity interventions, the ethical implications of what we recommend or implement.”

The project is titled "Understanding community investment in recreation spaces," and looks to help the province understand that utilization of municipal recreation spaces (indoor and outdoor) is essential for promoting healthy and active living among Albertans.

August 19, 2011

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Note: where possible we provide the DOI to link to research papers in the Info Round up.  To use it, cut and paste the DOI into the text box on this webpage: Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights.

This certificate, unique in Canada, was jointly developed by the faculties of Native Studies and Physical Education and Recreation, and is embedded within a student’s degree program. It is designed to afford them a value-added boost to their degrees and deepen their knowledge of the emerging field of Aboriginal Peoples’ health and wellness through sport and recreation.

The much celebrated Danish architect Jan Gehl, an expert on creating cities for people, writes some key observations about the quality of pedestrian environments and how it affects human behavior.

The Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT), a project of Clean Air Partnership, is embarking on a major project to advance the study of complete streets and to support their implementation in communities across Ontario.

Michigan Department of Transportation has been conducting them for years, the number of training courses in bicycle planning – complete with putting transportation planners and engineers on the road on bikes – has doubled since 2008.

Journal of Park and Recreation Administration Vol 29, No 2 (2011) » Larson

Results suggest that, contrary to popular beliefs, many children today are spending a substantial amount of time outdoors. However, the nature of children’s outdoor time may be changing. For example, playing or hanging out, physical activities, and technology-centered activities are more popular than nature-based activities. Electronic media consumption and parental involvement in outdoor recreation activities seem to be important factors influencing children’s time outdoors

A position paper of the National Intramural Sports Council of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education intended to provide teachers, school activity directors and administrators and program leaders with basic information for planning and implementing physical activity and intramural programming for children in grades K-12.

The physical activity standards are meant to ensure that all children and youth obtain at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day that includes a mixture of moderate and vigorous intensity activity as well as bone and muscle strengthening activities.

AJPH September 2011, Vol 101, No. 9
DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300217
Respondents who recognized a stronger role for social determinants of health and who saw social policy as health policy were more likely to be older, women, non-White, and liberal, and to have less education, lower income, and fair/poor health. Increasing public knowledge about social determinants of health and mobilizing less advantaged groups may be useful in addressing broad determinants of health.

Summertime in Alberta is a laid back time of year when summer festivals, vacations and travel time, barbecuing and outdoor adventures often dominate our days - No matter where you go or what your favourite summer activities are, eating healthily will help fuel your active lifestyle and help you enjoy the “great tastes of summer.”

Working with members and partners involved in the “Kids on the Move” project, the World Heart Federation has produced four fact sheets to help members make the case for promoting healthy diet and physical activity as a priority for policy, school curricula, and community activity.

This article compares the bias in self-reported height, weight and body mass index (BMI) in the 2008 and 2005 Canadian Community Health Surveys and the 2007 to 2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. The feasibility of using correction equations to adjust self-reported 2008 Canadian Community Health Survey values to more closely approximate measured values is assessed.

This article investigates the bias that exists when height, weight and BMI are based on parent-reported values. Factors associated with reporting error are used to establish the feasibility of developing correction equations to adjust parent-reported estimates.

This report from the Trust for Public Land, details more than 75 innovative features and programs-including 14 case studies-that maximize a park's ability to promote physical activity and improve mental health.

Physical Activity Line (British Columbia)
The Physical Activity Line is your free resource for practical and trusted physical activity and healthy living information… Contact Us at No Cost Today! That's Correct, it's a FREE Service! CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologists® are available Monday to Friday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, to assist you with all of your physical activity related needs!

Eur J Public Health (2011) advance access
doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckr091
These findings suggest that emotional and practical support from the closest person may help the individual to maintain the recommended level of LTPA. Practical support also predicted a change towards a more active lifestyle.

Need a break from sitting at your desk for a few minutes? Adrian Bauman and Josephine Chau from the University of Sydney have created a new Scivee video about sitting and health and you might want to stand up to watch it!

An article coauthored by Dan Burden and Todd Littman
An aging population, rising fuel costs, congestion, health, and environmental concerns and changing consumer preferences are all increasing demand for walking, cycling, and public transit.

In October 2009 (the Aus Heart Foundation) commissioned a Newspoll telephone survey of approximately 1,400 people aged 18 years and over in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth to find out whether healthy neighbourhood features influence their decision about where to live

The website provides summary advice on design considerations for five aspects of the built environment and links to documents which provide detailed information. The aspects are (you’ll find links to each section in the left hand column):
* cities, towns and neighbourhoods
* walking and cycling routes
* public transport
* open space
* retail areas 

The focus of the Review is on the three key built environment domains that support human health:
1. The Built Environment and Getting People Active.
2. The Built Environment and Connecting and Strengthening Communities.
3. The Built Environment and Providing Healthy Food Options.
These built environment domains address three of the major risk factors for contemporary chronic disease - physical inactivity, social isolation and obesity

According to the study, transportation costs can be lower if neighborhoods enable their residents to live without owning a car. 'Our years of research show that transportation costs are a significant part of a household budget-sometimes exceeding housing expenses-and those costs vary significantly depending on where a person lives…..

Main webpage for NSW Planning and Infrastructure.  Has links to many resources to policy and legislation (including the position statement above).   Be sure to access the resources at as well.

To increase walking, a whole-of-community approach is required that combines multiple-level strategies: public education, changes to the built environment and strategies that create a positive social environment. Walking for recreation and walking for transport are influenced by different features of the environment…………..

The importance of quality, multi-modal streets is explained in a video from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, whose comprehensive Complete Streets policy earned top marks in our Policy Analysis. With changing demands for housing and community options, the interviewed experts emphasize the need to change long-standing systems of transportation and land use planning and design to create walkable communities.

The human skeleton is constantly being restored and replaced. In growing children, bone formation exceeds bone loss. The two processes balance out in adulthood, but with advancing age, bone mass starts to decrease.

August 12, 2011

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Note: where possible we provide the DOI to link to research papers in the Info Round up.  To use it, cut and paste the DOI into the text box on this webpage: Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights.

The goal of this Citizens Guide is to help individual citizens, including volunteers from organizations, influence transportation decisions to improve communities – to create great streets and great communities!

This report identifies barriers that prevent car travelers changing to rail, bus, walk or cycle, or not making a journey. It has a literature review, modeling of travel choices, and a survey program.

Building bike paths alone will not get people out of their cars in the U.S. and onto bicycles. To create a thriving bike culture in America’s cities, people must begin to view bicycling as Europeans do — not just as a way of exercising, but as a serious form of urban mass transportation.

Travel plans can be used in a variety of settings from primary school to TAFE campus, corporate workplace to community centre or precinct. They are also delivered in partnership with a wide variety of organizations including councils, schools, universities and workplaces.

Pediatrics Vol. 128 No. 1 July 1, 2011pp. e193 -e210
doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-2353
Results show that interventions to reduce children's screen time have a small but statistically significant effect.

In a revised policy statement, “Climatic Heat Stress and Exercising Children and Adolescents,” published in the September 2011 issue of Pediatrics (published online Aug. 8), the AAP recommends youth sports programs implement comprehensive strategies to safeguard against heat illness.

Journal of Transport Geography Article in Press, Corrected Proof
Travel distance, block density, signalized intersections, walking density, and schools in low-income neighborhoods were associated with active travel. This research improves understanding of the sensitivity of school travel behavior analyses to the spatial representation of the neighborhood construct.

Sustrans wants to see independent and active travel back at the heart of childhood. We want to see a focus on creating free range kids – children and young people who experience freedom from their front door, and who have the confidence to travel independently, play outdoors and explore their local community, and have the skills, opportunities and support to do so safely.

Pediatrics Vol. 128 No. 2 August 1, 2011 pp. e404 -e413
doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-1612
The objective of this study is to identify the sociodemographic predictors of active transportation to schools across time among school-aged children participating in the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY).

Journal of Adolescence Article in Press, Corrected Proof
attitude and perceived behavior control (PBC) successfully predicts intention towards physical activity and perceived behavior control  PBC predicts physical activity behavior in British adolescents from lower-than-average socio-economic backgrounds.

Research in Developmental Disabilities Article in Press, Corrected Proof
Increasing carers’ sense of control over their ability to support clients’ physical activity may be more effective in increasing physical activity than changing their attitudes towards promoting activity.

The European Commission has designated 2012 as the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. The goal is to raise awareness about meeting the challenges of aging and share best practices. The initiative calls for action in employment, education, health and social services, housing and public infrastructure.

When researchers at UCLA combined a weekly tai chi exercise class with a standard depression treatment for a group of depressed elderly adults, they found “greater improvement in the level of depression — along with improved quality of life, better memory and cognition, and more overall energy — than among a different group in which the standard treatment was paired with a weekly health education class”.

A UK-wide document that presents guidelines on the volume, duration, frequency and type of physical activity required across the lifecourse to achieve general health benefits. It is aimed at the NHS, local authorities and a range of other organizations designing services to promote physical activity. The document is intended for professionals, practitioners and policymakers concerned with formulating and implementing policies and programs that utilize the promotion of physical activity, sport, exercise and active travel to achieve health gains.

Review 7 for the NICE investigation into spatial planning and health found that a failure to involve communities early on in developing plans leads to “planning delays, re-application of plans and poorly conceived plans which incur additional costs and produce lower quality and less appropriate modifications to the built environment which feeds through to lower use and health benefit”

This online guide is a set of resources to help practitioners integrate health and spatial planning…4 resources in total.  The introduction frames the context. Spatial planning as huge potential to positively affect health through the design of neighbourhoods.

Both the general public and the government have a strong interest in improving health, bringing down health care costs, and reducing energy use and traffic congestion. The report is divided into three chapters to focus on the following policy areas: policies that improve the environment and environmental health (Chapter 1); policies that enhance community design and promote active transportation (Chapter 2); and policies that reduce motor vehicle-related injuries and fatalities (Chapter 3).

The purpose of this project is to increase physical activity opportunities for women 55-70 by finding out more about the types of physical activity programs these women would like to see, the barriers they face, and how current programs could be adapted to better meet their needs.


August 2, 2011

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Note: where possible we provide the DOI to link to research papers in the Info Round up.  To use it, cut and paste the DOI into the text box on this webpage: Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights.

The purpose of the Compendium is to provide sustainable transportation practitioners, and others in related fields, with an up-to-date listing of research and findings about the key attitudes, perceptions and misperceptions of Canadians towards targeted sustainable transportation actions.

A fun and informative blog that covers all things cycling.

Did you hear? Canada is the first country in the world to have guidelines that suggest limiting the amount of time children and youth spend sitting or being sedentary each day.

CFLRI Bulletin #2. The 2010 Physical Activity Monitor asked parents whether their children (ages 5 to 17 years) participated in sport during the prior 12 months leading up to the survey. According to their definition, 75% of children and youth participate in sport.

CFLRI Bulletin #3. A follow up to Bulletin #2 above. They further asked parents whether their children primarily engage in sport in structured or unstructured environments, make use of a coach, train or compete for their sport. This bulletin describes these findings.

Welcome to the Urban Transportation Image Bank.  The Image Bank endeavors to provide photographs that illustrate the many facets of sustainable urban transportation in Canada. Free to use.

Terms of Use  - scroll down to the ‘Non-Commercial Reproduction’ section.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 41, Iss 2, August 2011, Pages 174-177
Sedentary time in older adults can be reduced following a brief intervention based on goal setting and behavioral self-monitoring.

Preventive Medicine, In Press, Accepted Manuscript
We conclude that physicians have an important role in helping their obese patients overcome barriers to PA. It is clear that most physicians have some knowledge about the environment and PA, but fewer do not routinely interact with their obese patients about environmental concerns. We recommend the development of targeted information and useful tools to assist physicians to help their obese patients.

PA case studies from rural New South Wales. This booklet features 6 PA project that have worked well in rural communities to address overweight and obesity, improve self esteem and strengthen social connectedness and promote community action.

This site supports the (Physical Activity) Taskforce's objectives by providing an industry specific information resources portal that promotes and encourages active lifestyles.

CFLRI Research File July.  Despite the known benefits of regular physical activity, Canadians still do not achieve the recommended levels. This article summarizes the data found in two published reports from a study that examined current fitness levels of Canadians.

"Exercise is medicine" is an expression that a trainer friend of mine likes to use. I completely agree. But like medicine, it's very important to know what to prescribe. Prescribing too much medicine or the wrong medicine can be dangerous. The same is true with exercise.

CFLRI Lifestyle Tip July. As a nation we are less fit than we were 25 years ago.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 41, Iss 2, August 2011 pp 174 - 235
There are a number of articles in this journal issue concerning sedentary behavior.
·         Sedentary Behavior and Dietary Intake in Children, Adolescents, and Adults: A Systematic Review
·         Adults' Sedentary Behavior: Determinants and Interventions
·         Health Risks, Correlates, and Interventions to Reduce Sedentary Behavior in Young People
·         Sedentary Behaviors and Subsequent Health Outcomes in Adults: A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies, 1996–2011
·         Measurement of Adults' Sedentary Time in Population-Based Studies
·         The Descriptive Epidemiology of Sitting: A 20-Country Comparison Using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ)

This (Australian) National Urban Policy sets a vision for our cities to deliver future prosperity and wellbeing for our communities and reinforces the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) national objective to ensure Australian cities are globally competitive, productive, sustainable, liveable, socially inclusive and well placed to meet future challenges and growth.

Maturitas Article in Press, Corrected Proof
Engaging in housework and farm work are determinants of physical function in postmenopausal women, which may help them maintain independence in daily living.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 41, Iss 2, August 2011, Pages 136-145
In men, full-time employment, even in sedentary occupations, is positively associated with physical activity compared to not working, and in both genders job type has a major bearing on daily activity levels.

If you are an employer interested in helping your employees find more efficient and sustainable ways of commuting to work, this guide is written for you.